First, while a worthy cause, ALS has never been one I've supported and I do not intend to just suddenly jump on a copycat fad bandwagon because every other manjack and his pet monkey is. As I said, I despise copycat faddish promotions no matter how popular. My causes that I consistently support include: The Prostate Cancer Foundation, St. Jude's Research Hospital, Maryknoll Sisters, Homeless Missions - in Baltimore and Colorado Springs and Covenant House. Given these charities, I've no intention of adding another - and don't believe in "one offs" - especially merely for spectacle.
A second problem I have, let me be blunt: it’s a frickin’ waste of water for a country and world which will very soon be begging for it. Yeah, ok, one two gallon bucket is no big deal and it's only one person at a time. I admit that the illusion of minimal waste is convincing. But multiplied by millions of imitators – each trying to outdo the others- it is. According to a spot on drought and water (with Physicist Michio Kaku three days ago on CBS Early show) the volume of water consumed so far in the ice bucket challenge would cover all the land from the Pacific coast to the
Speaking to Religion News Service Tuesday, ALS Association representative Carrie Munk said, “Currently, The Association is funding one study using embryonic stem cells (ESC), and the stem cell line was established many years ago under ethical guidelines set by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS); this research is funded by one specific donor, who is committed to this area of research. The project is in its final phase and will come to an end very soon.”
She added that donors “can stipulate where their money goes and can ask that it not pay for embryonic stem cell research.". This is a rational option and certainly ought to be considered before dodging the donations. But still, I maintain the ALS effort can be helped – and mightily – without all the dumping water gimmickry.
The same ‘State of the World’ report noted at present rates of decline and even without factoring in the worst global warming influences – the number of people living in water-stressed countries will rise from 470 million to 3 billion by 2025, more than a six-fold increase. Add in projected new climate change data and likely effects and the stressed populations increase nine or tenfold.
The cold, brutal fact is that this planet has limited resources, including potable, fresh water, so must also have a carrying capacity beyond which human needs cannot be adequately met.
3) Use another act to emblemize your spirit, such as gulping down a beer with a taco or burrito.
4) Rather than wastefully dump buckets of water, get a group of would be contributors together to jump into an ice cold lake.
I am not saying people shouldn't participate, only to think before they do. In particular, ask yourself: Is this going to be a continuing support commitment or done only as a one-off as part of a national craze? If the latter is the case, and your support ends with the bucket dousing and one check, then it is a waste of time....and water!